Total Rewards Asia Summit 2024 Singapore
Malaysia's KL20 Action Paper: Key talent initiatives outlined for 2024 and beyond

Malaysia's KL20 Action Paper: Key talent initiatives outlined for 2024 and beyond

Several talent initiatives were also launched, including the Innovation Pass, a visa programme that enables founders of businesses and their talent to work in Malaysia, with an aim to build up capabilities required for the startup ecosystem to thrive.

Malaysia has released its KL20 Action Paper, serving as a set of tangible reforms to accelerate the growth of capital, talent, and high-quality startups. 

Launched at the KL20 Summit 2024, the Paper covers areas such as Malaysia's startup community, and the funding available at all stages. Several talent initiatives were also launched. A brief summary is as follows. 

Innovation pass

As part of efforts to facilitate access to high-calibre talent, the action paper has introduced the Innovation Pass — a holistic visa programme that enables founders and talent to work in Malaysia, building up capabilities required for the startup ecosystem to thrive. The pass applies to the following group:

  • Founders/entrepreneurs - First-time or experienced founder building a business
  • Senior management - C-suite or Head of Department candidate in tech/ VC
  • Highly skilled talent - Experienced talent with scarce and in-demand skillsets
  • General talent - Tech or VC talent required for day-to-day operations

Spouse Programme

To assist spouses in settling into and building meaningful careers, Malaysia has also implemented a two-week Spouse Programme. The programme will entail: 

Introduction to Malaysia: Classes covering lifestyle, culture, and workplace norms
Experience sharing: Sharing sessions with other expats and programme alumni
One-on-one career consultations: Consultations with external experts to develop career plans
Networking sessions: Connecting with recruiters and HR professionals
Guidance beyond work: Lifestyle services such as childcare, language classes, etc.
Ongoing support: Post-programme support, such as gatherings, online resources, etc.

Founder & talent relocations service

The Paper also introduced a one stop-service to facilitate a seamless experience for foreign talents relocating to Malaysia, which will address their relocation and lifestyle needs.


The newly-introduced Skills@Scale serves as a centralised tech skills marketplace to upskill trainees by matching them with experienced trainers from a variety of different backgrounds.

It is streamlined, with an easy-to-navigate interface. Its features also include search functionality to filter by topic trainer, rating, etc. There will also be course subsidies to encourage participation. 

For trainers:

  • Design courses and classes on tech skills and digital capabilities
  • Deliver courses to registered participants through the platform
  • Receive payment from participants interested in the courses
  • Adapt materials and course structure based on participant feedback

For trainees:

  • Search for relevant classes/courses on digital skills
  • Sign up for suitable courses based on requirements and user reviews
  • Participate in courses through relevant channels
  • Rate trainers and provide feedback based on your training experience

Executive digital leadership

This three-month programme aims to equip leaders with critical digital capabilities and knowledge to uplift Malaysia’s digital economy via transformation of their organisation. It will utilise a blended model, delivered via in-person and online classes that are curated by MIT.

Programme modules include digital transformation, ethics, cybersecurity, emerging tech, and more. 

Apart from the above, the Paper also covered a holistic set of marquee initiatives that aims to make talent access easier (such as Visa Green-laning). There were also MOUs signed by sovereign wealth funds, venture capitalists, tech companies, and governments, reiterating Malaysia's commitment to technology.

Lead image / KL20

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